The Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado played host to round number three of the 2010 WMX series over the weekend, and Red Bull’s own Ashley Fiolek finished runner-up after overcoming some early-race adversity.
The weather was chaotic and the track was brutal, but the world’s best female MXers tamed the challenging conditions in front of an enthusiastic mile-high crowd.
In moto one, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Fiolek battled up the hill for the holeshot with current series points leader Jessica Patterson. Running in the second and third spots, respectively, during the opening lap, Fiolek and TLD/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Tarah Gieger collided in what can only be described as a “racing incident”, with both riders unfortunately going down.
Fiolek was hit by another rider before she eventually remounted, and then showed gutsy determination as she passed her way back up to a hard-fought fifth-place finish. Geiger would finish one spot ahead of her Red Bull teammate for a fourth in moto one.
The start of moto two was delayed due to a looming thunderstorm in the area, and when the gates finally dropped it was under rain-soaked conditions. With a side wind blowing and the track getting slicker, Fiolek struggled early on to lay down the laps that she’s capable of.
Regrouping and fighting through the mud and rain, Ashley eventually settled into the second spot behind series points leader Patterson. Meanwhile, Gieger looked to be the fastest rider on the track as she clawed her way forward after a poor start, but a tip over in the later stages of the moto relegated her back to seventh place by the wave of the checkers. Fiolek and Gieger’s efforts were good for second and seventh overall, respectively.
“Early in moto one I messed up and got cross-rutted, which caused my hand to come off of the bars,” Fiolek commented after the race. “I went down, and then everyone ran into the back of me. When I got up I was in last, but I made my way back up to fifth. In the second moto I didn’t get the best of starts, and the track was really tricky because of the rain. The girls rode really well today, so I was happy to make my way up to second behind JP.”
The RedBud National will host round four of the WMX series this coming Fourth of July weekend.